WO2017048161A1 - Network tuning in wireless networks - Google Patents

Network tuning in wireless networks Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2017048161A1
WO2017048161A1 PCT/SE2015/050966 SE2015050966W WO2017048161A1 WO 2017048161 A1 WO2017048161 A1 WO 2017048161A1 SE 2015050966 W SE2015050966 W SE 2015050966W WO 2017048161 A1 WO2017048161 A1 WO 2017048161A1
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WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
antenna system
control entity
network
coverage
beam
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/SE2015/050966
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Paul Stjernholm
Niklas JALDÉN
Angelo Centonza
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Telefonaktiebolaget Lm Ericsson (Publ)
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
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Publication date
Application filed by Telefonaktiebolaget Lm Ericsson (Publ) filed Critical Telefonaktiebolaget Lm Ericsson (Publ)
Priority to PCT/SE2015/050966 priority Critical patent/WO2017048161A1/en
Publication of WO2017048161A1 publication Critical patent/WO2017048161A1/en

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Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04BTRANSMISSION
    • H04B7/00Radio transmission systems, i.e. using radiation field
    • H04B7/02Diversity systems; Multi-antenna system, i.e. transmission or reception using multiple antennas
    • H04B7/04Diversity systems; Multi-antenna system, i.e. transmission or reception using multiple antennas using two or more spaced independent antennas
    • H04B7/06Diversity systems; Multi-antenna system, i.e. transmission or reception using multiple antennas using two or more spaced independent antennas at the transmitting station
    • H04B7/0613Diversity systems; Multi-antenna system, i.e. transmission or reception using multiple antennas using two or more spaced independent antennas at the transmitting station using simultaneous transmission
    • H04B7/0615Diversity systems; Multi-antenna system, i.e. transmission or reception using multiple antennas using two or more spaced independent antennas at the transmitting station using simultaneous transmission of weighted versions of same signal
    • H04B7/0617Diversity systems; Multi-antenna system, i.e. transmission or reception using multiple antennas using two or more spaced independent antennas at the transmitting station using simultaneous transmission of weighted versions of same signal for beam forming
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04WWIRELESS COMMUNICATION NETWORKS
    • H04W16/00Network planning, e.g. coverage or traffic planning tools; Network deployment, e.g. resource partitioning or cells structures
    • H04W16/24Cell structures
    • H04W16/28Cell structures using beam steering

Abstract

There is provided mechanisms for network tuning in a wireless network. A method is performed by a coverage and control entity. The method comprises acquiring network information indicating a need for network tuning in the wireless network. The method comprises acquiring antenna system first 5 capability and status information of at least one antenna system in the wireless network from a beam form control entity of the at least one antenna system. The method comprises determining a network tuning action based on the network information and the antenna system first capability and status information. The method comprises providing the network tuning action as a 10 control request for the antenna system to the beam form control entity.

Description

NETWORK TUNING IN WIRELESS NETWORKS

TECHNICAL FIELD

Embodiments presented herein relate to network tuning in a wireless network, and particularly to methods, a coverage and control entity, a beam form control entity, computer programs, and a computer program product for network tuning in a wireless network.

BACKGROUND

In communications networks, such as wireless networks, there may be a challenge to obtain good performance and capacity for a given

communications protocol, its parameters and the physical environment in which the communications network is deployed.

Fig. l schematically illustrates a wireless network 100 which maybe the third generation partnership (3GPP) Long Term Evolution (LTE) system as an exemplary wireless network. The wireless network 100 comprises a radio access network node 120 serving wireless devices 110a, 110b in a cell 150. The cell 150 is defined by the region in which the radio access network node 120 is capable of transmitting cell specific reference signals. The wireless devices 110a, 110b are thereby enabled to access services and exchange data in a service network 170 via a core network 160. The radio access network node 120 comprises an antenna system 400. As the skilled person understands, the wireless network 100 may comprise a plurality of radio access network nodes 120, each serving a plurality of wireless devices 110a, 110b within its cell 150.

A management system 900 of the wireless network 100 of Fig. 1 is

schematically illustrated in Fig. 9, including logical interfaces X2 between peer radio access network nodes (in terms of evolved Node Bs, eNBs). Node elements (NE) 120, as representing the eNBs, are managed by a domain manager (DM) 920, also referred to as the operation and support system (OSS). A DM 920 may further be managed by a network manager (NM) 910. Two NEs 120 are interconnected by the interface X2, whereas the interface between two DMs 920 is referred to as Itf-P2P, and the interface between the NM 910 and a DM 920 is referred to as Itf-N. The management system 100b may configure the NEs 120, as well as receive observations associated to features in the NEs 120. For example, each DM 920 may observe and configure one or more NEs 920, while the NM 910 may observe and configure one or more DM 920, as well as NEs 120 via the DM 920.

By means of configuration via the DM, NM and related interfaces, functions over the X2 and Si interfaces can be carried out in a coordinated way throughout the radio access network (RAN; as represented by the eNBs), eventually involving the core network. Advanced Antenna Systems (AAS) may be used to significantly enhance performance of wireless network in both uplink (UL; transmission from a wireless device via the RAN towards the core network) and downlink (DL; transmission from the core network towards a wireless device via the RAN). With beamforming, the radiation pattern of signals transmitted by the radio access network nodes may be controlled by the radio access network nodes transmitting a signal from a plurality of antenna elements with an element specific gain and phase. In this way, radiation patterns with different pointing directions and beam widths in both elevation and azimuth directions may be created. Beamforming may be applied in an antenna system, either by passive equipment in the antenna, referred to as passive beamforming, or by active coding of the transmitted signal, referred to as active beamforming.

In mobile broadband systems such as Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) / high speed packet access (HSPA) and LTE, common reference signals are transmitted (Common Pilot Channel (CPICH) and cell- specific reference signal (CRS), respectively) defining a cell. These signals are used by wireless devices served by the radio access network nodes both for measurements to select a cell to communicate with, as well as a demodulation reference signal for data to be received by both single and multiple wireless devices served by the radio access network nodes. Often, the region where a cell specific reference signal is received with highest power (as compared to cell specific reference signals transmitted from other radio access network nodes) is referred to as a cell, and beamforming of the cell specific reference signal may therefore be referred to as cell shaping.

Several beams may be created, using the same or different common reference signals, representing one or more cells. This is referred to as sectorization. The decision to sectorize may take different information into consideration, like the traffic load in the cell as well as surrounding cells.

Wireless device specific signals maybe used to form multiple beams directing energy toward specific wireless devices within a cell, and thereby limiting interference between wireless devices. This is referred to as user specific beamforming.

Cell Shaping, Sectorization and User Specific Beamforming may be performed in the horizontal plane, the vertical plane or in a combination thereof. Cell shaping and Sectorization are variants of Cell Specific

Beamforming, which can be used by the self optimizing network (SON) function called Coverage & Capacity Optimization (CCO) to optimize network performance in terms of e.g. capacity, end-user performance, interference, etc. The decision on what beamforming strategy to apply may depend on several factors, like the spatial distribution of wireless devices, the network performance, the multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) order used and whether user specific beamforming is deployed or not.

The CCO function may be a centrally located function in the wireless network, be distributed on the nodes in the network, or be a combination thereof. The corresponding CCO architectures are normally referred to as central, distributed on hybrid.

However, the known CCO function does not take full advantage of

information being available in the wireless network. This leads to less than optimal performance of the wireless network being achievable by the known CCO function. Hence, there is still a need for an improved performance of the wireless network.

SUMMARY

An object of embodiments herein is to provide improved performance of the wireless network.

According to a first aspect there is presented a method for network tuning in a wireless network. The method is performed by a coverage and control entity. The method comprises acquiring network information indicating a need for network tuning in the wireless network. The method comprises acquiring antenna system first capability and status information of at least one antenna system in the wireless network from a beam form control entity of the at least one antenna system. The method comprises determining a network tuning action based on the network information and the antenna system first capability and status information. The method comprises providing the network tuning action as a control request for the antenna system to the beam form control entity.

Advantageously this provides efficient network tuning in a wireless network.

Advantageously, the inventive concept enables the use of information from the antenna system together with information of the traffic spatial

distribution when deciding the strategy to use for beam specific

beamforming. This increases the likelihood of making the right decision in a SON function (as implemented by the coverage and control entity), leading to improved network performance.

Advantageously, the inventive concept allows for automated adaption to antenna system capability when optimizing the network performance in a wireless network using antenna beamforming. With a proper interface, the SON function could be made autonomous without the need for manual configuration. According to a second aspect there is presented a coverage and control entity for network tuning in a wireless network. The coverage and control entity comprises processing circuitry. The processing circuitry is configured to cause the coverage and control entity to acquire network information indicating a need for network tuning in the wireless network. The processing circuitry is configured to cause the coverage and control entity to acquire antenna system first capability and status information of at least one antenna system in the wireless network from a beam form control entity of the at least one antenna system. The processing circuitry is configured to cause the coverage and control entity to determine a network tuning action based on the network information and the antenna system first capability and status information. The processing circuitry is configured to cause the coverage and control entity to provide the network tuning action as a control request for the antenna system to the beam form control entity. According to an embodiment the coverage and control entity further comprises a storage medium storing a set of operations, and the processing circuitry is configured to retrieve the set of operations from the storage medium to cause the coverage and control entity to perform the set of operations. According to a third aspect there is presented a coverage and control entity for network tuning in a wireless network. The coverage and control entity comprises processing circuitry. The coverage and control entity comprises a storage medium storing instructions that, when executed by the processing circuitry, causes the coverage and control entity to perform a method according to the first aspect.

According to a fourth aspect there is presented a coverage and control entity for network tuning in a wireless network. The coverage and control entity comprises an acquire module configured to acquire network information indicating a need for network tuning in the wireless network. The acquire module is further configured to acquire antenna system first capability and status information of at least one antenna system in the wireless network from a beam form control entity of the at least one antenna system. The coverage and control entity comprises a determine module configured to determine a network tuning action based on the network information and the antenna system first capability and status information. The coverage and control entity comprises a provide module configured to provide the network tuning action as a control request for the antenna system to the beam form control entity.

According to a fifth aspect there is presented a computer program for network tuning in a wireless network, the computer program comprising computer program code which, when run on processing circuitry of a coverage and control entity, causes the coverage and control entity to perform a method according to the first aspect.

According to a sixth aspect there is presented a method for network tuning in a wireless network. The method is performed by a beam form control entity of at least one antenna system in the wireless network. The method

comprises providing antenna system first capability and status information of the at least one antenna system to a coverage and control entity. The method comprises receiving a network tuning action as a control request for the antenna system from the coverage and control entity. The method comprises translating the control request into control instructions readable by the at least one antenna system. The method comprises providing the control instructions to the at least one antenna system.

According to a seventh aspect there is presented a beam form control entity for network tuning in a wireless network. The beam form control entity comprises processing circuitry. The processing circuitry is configured to cause the beam form control entity to provide antenna system first capability and status information of at least one antenna system to a coverage and control entity. The processing circuitry is configured to cause the beam form control entity to receive a network tuning action as a control request for the antenna system from the coverage and control entity. The processing circuitry is configured to cause the beam form control entity to translate the control request into control instructions readable by the at least one antenna system. The processing circuitry is configured to cause the beam form control entity to provide the control instructions to the at least one antenna system.

According to an embodiment the beam form control entity further comprises a storage medium storing a set of operations, and the processing circuitry is configured to retrieve the set of operations from the storage medium to cause the beam form control entity to perform the set of operations.

According to an eight aspect there is presented a beam form control entity for network tuning in a wireless network. The beam form control entity comprises processing circuitry. The beam form control entity comprises a storage medium storing instructions that, when executed by the processing circuitry, causes the beam form control entity to perform a method according to the sixth aspect.

According to a ninth aspect there is presented a beam form control entity for network tuning in a wireless network. The beam form control entity comprises a provide module configured to provide antenna system first capability and status information of at least one antenna system to a coverage and control entity. The beam form control entity comprises a receive module configured to receive a network tuning action as a control request for the antenna system from the coverage and control entity. The beam form control entity comprises a translate module configured to translate the control request into control instructions readable by the at least one antenna system. The provide module is further configured to provide the control instructions to the at least one antenna system. According to a tenth aspect there is presented a computer program for network tuning in a wireless network, the computer program comprising computer program code which, when run on processing circuitry of a beam form control entity, causes the beam form control entity to perform a method according to the sixth aspect. According to an eleventh aspect there is presented a computer program product comprising a computer program according to at least one of the fifth aspect and the tenth aspect and a computer readable medium on which the computer program is stored. It is to be noted that any feature of the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eight, ninth, tenth and eleventh aspects may be applied to any other aspect, wherever appropriate. Likewise, any advantage of the first aspect may equally apply to the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eight, ninth, tenth, and/or eleventh aspect, respectively, and vice versa. Other objectives, features and advantages of the enclosed embodiments will be apparent from the following detailed disclosure, from the attached dependent claims as well as from the drawings.

Generally, all terms used in the claims are to be interpreted according to their ordinary meaning in the technical field, unless explicitly defined otherwise herein. All references to "a/an/the element, apparatus, component, means, step, etc." are to be interpreted openly as referring to at least one instance of the element, apparatus, component, means, step, etc., unless explicitly stated otherwise. The steps of any method disclosed herein do not have to be performed in the exact order disclosed, unless explicitly stated. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The inventive concept is now described, by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

Fig. 1 is a schematic diagram illustrating a wireless network according to embodiments; Fig. 2a is a schematic diagram showing functional units of a coverage and control entity 200 according to an embodiment;

Fig. 2b is a schematic diagram showing functional modules of a coverage and control entity 200 according to an embodiment; Fig. 3a is a schematic diagram showing functional units of a beam form control entity 300 according to an embodiment;

Fig. 3b is a schematic diagram showing functional modules of a beam form control entity 300 according to an embodiment; Fig. 4 shows one example of a computer program product comprising computer readable medium according to an embodiment;

Figs. 5, 6, 7, and 8 are flowcharts of methods according to embodiments;

Fig. 9 is a schematic illustration of a management system according to embodiments; Fig. 10 is a schematic illustration of different examples of interfaces between a coverage and control entity 200 and beam form control entities 300 according to embodiments; and

Figs. 11 and 12 schematically illustrates embodiments of the coverage and control entity 200 and the beam form control entity 300, including interfaces there between.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The inventive concept will now be described more fully hereinafter with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which certain embodiments of the inventive concept are shown. This inventive concept may, however, be embodied in many different forms and should not be construed as limited to the embodiments set forth herein; rather, these embodiments are provided by way of example so that this disclosure will be thorough and complete, and will fully convey the scope of the inventive concept to those skilled in the art. Like numbers refer to like elements throughout the description. Any step or feature illustrated by dashed lines should be regarded as optional.

It has by the inventors of the herein disclosed embodiments been recognized that when deploying a CCO function in a network the beamforming applied will depend on the beamforming capability of the antenna systems on the different sites. Such beamforming capabilities may relate to full support via AAS, remote electrical tilt only, or no support. AAS may not be deployed throughout the network, or may be gradually introduced over time.

It has by the inventors of the herein disclosed embodiments further been recognized that in order for a CCO function to adapt to the antenna system beamforming capability, information on the beamforming capability of the antenna system is needed, which is currently not the case. The alternative option, to pre-configure the CCO per site, could thus be avoided with the inventive concept disclosed herein. In brief, the inventive concept presented herein discloses the interaction between a SON function, denoted a coverage and control entity, and a beam form control entity of an antenna system in a wireless communications network that allows the coverage and control entity to take proper actions depending on the capabilities and the current configuration of the antenna system. As will be further disclosed below, the beam form control entity provides an abstract interface towards the coverage and control entity, thereby hiding the internal realization within the antenna system and allowing an efficient implementation of the coverage and control entity.

The embodiments disclosed herein thus relate to mechanisms for network tuning in a wireless network. In order to obtain such mechanisms there is provided a coverage and control entity 200, a method performed by the coverage and control entity 200, a computer program comprising code, for example in the form of a computer program product, that when run on processing circuitry of the coverage and control entity 200, causes the coverage and control entity 200 to perform the method. In order to obtain such mechanisms there is further provided a beam form control entity 300, a method performed by the beam form control entity 300, and a computer program comprising code, for example in the form of a computer program product, that when run on processing circuitry of the beam form control entity 300, causes the beam form control entity 300 to perform the method. Fig. 2a schematically illustrates, in terms of a number of functional units, the components of a coverage and control entity 200 according to an

embodiment. Processing circuitry 210 is provided using any combination of one or more of a suitable central processing unit (CPU), multiprocessor, microcontroller, digital signal processor (DSP), application specific integrated circuit (ASIC), field programmable gate arrays (FPGA) etc., capable of executing software instructions stored in a computer program product 410a (as in Fig. 4), e.g. in the form of a storage medium 230.

Particularly, the processing circuitry 210 is configured to cause the coverage and control entity 200 to perform a set of operations, or steps, S102-S110. These operations, or steps, S102-S110 will be disclosed below. For example, the storage medium 230 may store the set of operations, and the processing circuitry 210 maybe configured to retrieve the set of operations from the storage medium 230 to cause the coverage and control entity 200 to perform the set of operations. The set of operations maybe provided as a set of executable instructions. Thus the processing circuitry 210 is thereby arranged to execute methods as herein disclosed.

The storage medium 230 may also comprise persistent storage, which, for example, can be any single one or combination of magnetic memory, optical memory, solid state memory or even remotely mounted memory.

The coverage and control entity 200 may further comprise a communications interface 220 for communications with other entities, for example according to the interfaces specified below. As such the communications interface 220 may comprise one or more transmitters and receivers, comprising analogue and digital components ports for wireline communications.

The processing circuitry 210 controls the general operation of the coverage and control entity 200 e.g. by sending data and control signals to the communications interface 220 and the storage medium 230, by receiving data and reports from the communications interface 220, and by retrieving data and instructions from the storage medium 230. Other components, as well as the related functionality, of the coverage and control entity 200 are omitted in order not to obscure the concepts presented herein.

Fig. 2b schematically illustrates, in terms of a number of functional modules, 2ioa-2iod the components of a coverage and control entity 200 according to an embodiment. The functionality of each functional module 2ioa-2iod will be further disclosed below in the context of which the functional modules 2ioa-2iod maybe used. The coverage and control entity 200 of Fig. 2b comprises a number of functional modules; an acquire module 210a configured to perform below steps S102, S106, a determine module 210b configured to perform below step S108, and a provide module 210c configured to perform below step S110. The coverage and control entity 200 of Fig. 2b may further comprise a number of optional functional modules, such as a request module 2iod configured to perform below step S104. In general terms, each functional module 2ioa-2iod maybe implemented in hardware or in software. Preferably, one or more or all functional modules 2ioa-2iod maybe implemented by the processing circuitry 210, possibly in cooperation with functional units 220 and/or 230. The processing circuitry 210 may thus be arranged to from the storage medium 230 fetch instructions as provided by a functional module 2ioa-2iod and to execute these instructions, thereby performing any steps as will be disclosed hereinafter.

Fig. 3a schematically illustrates, in terms of a number of functional units, the components of a beam form control entity 300 according to an embodiment. Processing circuitry 310 is provided using any combination of one or more of a suitable central processing unit (CPU), multiprocessor, microcontroller, digital signal processor (DSP), application specific integrated circuit (ASIC), field programmable gate arrays (FPGA) etc., capable of executing software instructions stored in a computer program product 410b (as in Fig. 4), e.g. in the form of a storage medium 330.

Particularly, the processing circuitry 310 is configured to cause the beam form control entity 300 to perform a set of operations, or steps, S202-S216. These operations, or steps, S212-S216 will be disclosed below. For example, the storage medium 330 may store the set of operations, and the processing circuitry 310 maybe configured to retrieve the set of operations from the storage medium 330 to cause the beam form control entity 300 to perform the set of operations. The set of operations maybe provided as a set of executable instructions. Thus the processing circuitry 310 is thereby arranged to execute methods as herein disclosed.

The storage medium 330 may also comprise persistent storage, which, for example, can be any single one or combination of magnetic memory, optical memory, solid state memory or even remotely mounted memory. The beam form control entity 300 may further comprise a communications interface 320 for communications with other entities, for example according to the interfaces specified below. As such the communications interface 320 may comprise one or more transmitters and receivers, comprising analogue and digital components and a suitable number of antennas for wireless communications and ports for wireline communications.

The processing circuitry 310 controls the general operation of the beam form control entity 300 e.g. by sending data and control signals to the

communications interface 320 and the storage medium 330, by receiving data and reports from the communications interface 320, and by retrieving data and instructions from the storage medium 330. Other components, as well as the related functionality, of the beam form control entity 300 are omitted in order not to obscure the concepts presented herein.

Fig. 3b schematically illustrates, in terms of a number of functional modules 3ioa-3ioe, the components of a beam form control entity 300 according to an embodiment. The functionality of each functional module 3ioa-3ioe will be further disclosed below in the context of which the functional modules 3ioa-3ioe may be used. The beam form control entity 300 of Fig. 3b comprises a number of functional modules; a provide module 310a configured to perform below steps S208, S216, a receive module 310b configured to perform below step S210, and a translate module 310c configured to perform below step S212. The beam form control entity 300 of Fig. 3b may further comprise a number of optional functional modules, such as any of an acquire module 3iod configured to perform below steps S202, S204, and a determine module 310ε configured to perform step S214. The functionality of each functional module 3ioa-3ioe will be further disclosed below in the context of which the functional modules 3ioa-3ioe maybe used. In general terms, each functional module 3ioa-3ioe maybe implemented in hardware or in software. Preferably, one or more or all functional modules 3ioa-3ioe maybe implemented by the processing circuitry 310, possibly in cooperation with functional units 320 and/ or 330. The processing circuitry 310 may thus be arranged to from the storage medium 330 fetch instructions as provided by a functional module 3ioa-3ioe and to execute these

instructions, thereby performing any steps as will be disclosed hereinafter.

The coverage and control entity 200 and/or beam form control entity 300 may be provided as a standalone device or as a part of at least one further device. In one embodiment the beam form control entity 300 and the coverage and control entity 200 are integrated in a common entity.

Further, the beam form control entity 300 may be provided in a node of the radio access network or in a node of the core network. According to one embodiment the beam form control entity 300 is provided in an antenna system 400, see Fig. 12. Alternatively, functionality of the coverage and control entity 200 and/or beam form control entity 300 maybe distributed between at least two devices, or nodes. These at least two nodes, or devices, may either be part of the same network part (such as the radio access network or the core network) or may be spread between at least two such network parts. In general terms, instructions that are required to be performed in real time maybe performed in a device, or node, operatively closer to the antenna system 4oo than instructions that are not required to be performed in real time. In this respect, at least part of the coverage and control entity 200 and/ or beam form control entity 300 may reside in the radio access network, such as in the radio access network node, for cases when embodiments as disclosed herein are performed in real time. Thus, a first portion of the instructions performed by the coverage and control entity 200 and/ or beam form control entity 300 may be executed in a first device, and a second portion of the of the instructions performed by the coverage and control entity 200 and/ or beam form control entity 300 may be executed in a second device; the herein disclosed embodiments are not limited to any particular number of devices on which the instructions performed by the coverage and control entity 200 and/ or beam form control entity 300 maybe executed. Hence, the methods according to the herein disclosed embodiments are suitable to be performed by a coverage and control entity 200 and/ or beam form control entity 300 residing in a cloud computational environment. Therefore, although a single processing circuitry 210, 310 is illustrated in Figs. 2a and 3a the processing circuitry 210, 310 may be distributed among a plurality of devices, or nodes. The same applies to the functional modules 2ioa-2id and 3ioa-3ioe of Figs. 2b and 3b and the computer programs 420a, 420b of Fig. 4 (see below).

Fig. 4 shows one example of a computer program product 410a, 410b comprising computer readable medium 430. On this computer readable medium 430, a computer program 420a can be stored, which computer program 420a can cause the processing circuitry 210 and thereto operatively coupled entities and devices, such as the communications interface 220 and the storage medium 230, to execute methods according to embodiments described herein. The computer program 420a and/or computer program product 410a may thus provide means for performing any steps of the coverage and control entity 200 as herein disclosed. On this computer readable medium 430, a computer program 420b can be stored, which computer program 420b can cause the processing circuitry 310 and thereto operatively coupled entities and devices, such as the communications interface 320 and the storage medium 330, to execute methods according to embodiments described herein. The computer program 420b and/or computer program product 410b may thus provide means for performing any steps of the beam form control entity 300 as herein disclosed. l6

In the example of Fig. 4, the computer program product 410a, 410b is illustrated as an optical disc, such as a CD (compact disc) or a DVD (digital versatile disc) or a Blu-Ray disc. The computer program product 410a, 410b could also be embodied as a memory, such as a random access memory (RAM), a read-only memory (ROM), an erasable programmable read-only memory (EPROM), or an electrically erasable programmable read-only memory (EEPROM) and more particularly as a non-volatile storage medium of a device in an external memory such as a USB (Universal Serial Bus) memory or a Flash memory, such as a compact Flash memory. Thus, while the computer program 420a, 420b is here schematically shown as a track on the depicted optical disk, the computer program 420a, 420b can be stored in any way which is suitable for the computer program product 410a, 410b.

Figs. 5 and 6 are flow charts illustrating embodiments of methods for network tuning in a wireless network 100 as performed by the coverage and control entity 200. Figs. 7 and 8 are flow charts illustrating embodiments of methods for network tuning in a wireless network 100 as performed by the beam form control entity 300. The methods are advantageously provided as computer programs 420a, 420b.

Reference is now made to Fig. 5 illustrating a method for network tuning in a wireless network 100 as performed by the coverage and control entity 200 according to an embodiment.

The coverage and control entity 200 is configured to, in a step S102, acquire network information indicating a need for network tuning in the wireless network 100. Examples of such needs will be provided below. In this respect the acquire module 210a may comprise instructions that when executed by the coverage and control entity 200 causes the processing circuitry 210, possibly in interaction with the communications interface 220 and the storage medium 230, to acquire this network information in order for the coverage and control entity 200 to perform step S102. The coverage and control entity 200 is configured to, in a step S106, acquire antenna system first capability and status information of at least one antenna system 400 in the wireless network 100. Examples of such antenna system first capability and status information will be provided below. The antenna system first capability and status information is acquired from a beam form control entity 300 of the at least one antenna system 400. Further disclosure of the beam form control entity 300 will be provided below. In this respect the acquire module 210a may comprise instructions that when executed by the coverage and control entity 200 causes the processing circuitry 210, possibly in interaction with the communications interface 220 and the storage medium 230, to acquire the antenna system first capability and status information in order for the coverage and control entity 200 to perform step S106.

The coverage and control entity 200 is configured to, in a step S108, determine a network tuning action based on the network information and the antenna system first capability and status information. Examples of network tuning actions will be provided below. In this respect the determine module 210b may comprise instructions that when executed by the coverage and control entity 200 causes the processing circuitry 210, possibly in interaction with the communications interface 220 and the storage medium 230, to determine the network tuning action in order for the coverage and control entity 200 to perform step S108.

The coverage and control entity 200 is configured to, in a step S110, provide the network tuning action as a control request for the antenna system 400 to the beam form control entity 300. Examples of how the control request may be provided to the beam form control entity 300 will be provided below. In this respect the provide module 210c may comprise instructions that when executed by the coverage and control entity 200 causes the processing circuitry 210, possibly in interaction with the communications interface 220 and the storage medium 230, to provide the network tuning action in order for the coverage and control entity 200 to perform step S110. l8

Hence, tuning of the wireless network 100 (i.e., network tuning) may thereby be achieved by the network tuning action being executed. In general terms, the aim of network tuning is to improve performance of the wireless network 100. Such improved performance maybe achieved by altering (i.e., tuning) values of one or more settings of entities and devices in the wireless network 100. For example, network tuning may be achieved by changing values of settings of the antenna system 400, such as values of settings of a radio entity 410 and/or values of settings of an antenna entity 420.

One goal of network tuning maybe to achieve load balancing in the wireless network 100. There are different ways in which network tuning may be achieved. Examples thereof will be provided below.

However, the coverage and control entity 200 is not configured to actually execute the network tuning action. Rather, as disclosed in step S110, the coverage and control entity 200 is configured to provide the network tuning action as a control request for the antenna system 400 to the beam form control entity 300. How the beam form control entity 300 handles the control request in order for the network tuning action to be executed will be disclosed below.

Embodiments relating to further details of network tuning in a wireless network 100 as performed by the coverage and control entity 200 will now be disclosed.

There may be different examples of network information. For example, the network information may relate to network performance, spatial distribution of network traffic in the wireless network 100, or any combination thereof. There may be different examples of needs for the network tuning. For example, the need for network tuning may relate to load level in a cell 150 of the wireless network 100, the number of cell edge users 110a in the wireless network 100, or any combination thereof. There may be different examples of control requests. Different embodiments relating thereto will now be described in turn.

According to a first embodiment the control request pertains to change of a beam used for transmission of beam specific reference signals. Particularly, the control request may pertain to modifying a transmission beam used by the antenna system 400 for transmitting beam specific reference signals. The beam specific reference signals may be provided as cell specific reference signals. Modifying the transmission beam may thus define one example of network tuning. According to a second embodiment the control request pertains to further changes of a beam used for transmission of beam specific reference signals. Particularly, the control request may request the at least one antenna system 400 to create a new transmission beam, to remove an existing transmission beam, to modify an existing transmission beam, to modify a beam pointing direction of an existing transmission beam, to modify the width of an existing transmission beam, or any combination thereof. Performing any of these kinds of actions may thus define examples of network tuning.

According to a third embodiment the control request pertains to properties of a beam coverage area being updated. Particularly, the control request may pertain to decreasing a first beam coverage area, increasing a second beam coverage area, dividing a third beam coverage area into at least two beam coverage areas or sectors, merging at least two beam coverage areas into a fourth beam coverage area, relocating a fifth beam coverage area in the wireless network 100, or any combination thereof. Any such beam coverage area may correspond to a cell coverage area. Performing any of these kinds of actions may thus define examples of network tuning.

Based on information on the network performance and spatial distribution of the traffic (as represented by the network information and the antenna system first capability and status information), the coverage and control entity 200 may determine the proper measures to improve the network performance, in terms of the network tuning action. For example, if the load is high in a cell and the performance is found poor due to several wireless devices noa at the edge of the cell, the coverage and control entity 200 may determine on a network tuning action resulting in load balancing by, for example, decreasing the cell area through tilting down the antenna, while simultaneously increasing the cell area of one or more neighboring cells by tilting up their antennas in order to compensate for the coverage loss (of the down tilted cell) and for them to take on the excess traffic. According to another example, when the cell load increases over a given threshold and wireless devices 110a, 110b are identified to mainly be located in two distinct geographical areas, the coverage and control entity 200 may determine on a network tuning action to divide the cell into two sectors, or two separate cells, covering the corresponding areas thereby increasing the overall network performance. There may be different examples of antenna system first capability and status information as acquired in step S106. Different embodiments relating thereto will now be described in turn.

According to a first embodiment the antenna system first capability and status information comprises antenna system general information and values thereof. Examples of antenna system general information include, but are not limited to, antenna identity and/or type, antenna polarization, e.g. x- polarized or co-polarized, antenna array constellation, i.e. the number pf columns and rows, where the columns are the number of antenna elements in horizontal direction and the rows are the number of antenna elements in vertical direction, antenna location, i.e. geographical position (x, y) and height over ground level (z), and antenna relative location, e.g. above or below roof-top or surrounding environment, indoor or outdoor.

According to a second embodiment the antenna system first capability and status information comprises antenna system (cell specific) beamforming capability information (and values thereof). Examples of antenna system (cell specific) beamforming capability information include, but are not limited to, antenna beamforming capability per response time, e.g. slow (passive) or fast (active) beamforming capability, or potentially expressed as response time values, beam pointing direction capability (horizontal and vertical, respectively), beam pointing direction range (horizontal and vertical, respectively), beam width capability (horizontal and vertical, respectively), and beam width range (horizontal and vertical, respectively).

According to a third embodiment the antenna system first capability and status information comprises antenna system configuration parameters (and values thereof). Examples of such antenna system configuration parameters include, but are not limited to, beam identity, uniquely identifying a beam within the antenna system 400, since multiple beams maybe created, beam pointing direction (horizontal and vertical, respectively), per beam ( i.e., the sum of electrical and mechanical beam pointing direction in horizontal and vertical plane, respectively), beam width (horizontal and vertical,

respectively), per beam (e.g., half power beam widths in horizontal and vertical plane, respectively).

The antenna system first capability and status information may comprise at least one of the above items and be provided per cell in the network 100, whereof some items may be read-only and hence not configurable. In general terms, the antenna system first capability and status information may be provided over interface A, see Figs. 11 and 12 below. In more detail, as indicated above, the coverage and control entity 200 needs to understand what level of beamforming that is feasible, or even possible, (by acquiring the antenna system first capability and status information of at least one antenna system 400 in the wireless network 100 from the beam form control entity 300 of the at least one antenna system 400, as in step S106) so as to control the antenna system 400 (by providing the network tuning action to the beam form control entity 3001η Sno). For this purpose at least some the

parameters in the antenna system 400 are be possible to be configured and information possible to read over interface A. The information acquired in step S106 maybe an abstraction of what is information within the antenna system 400.

The network tuning action may thereby depend on the capability of the antenna system 400 given its current configuration, for example if the antenna system 400 can be further tilted, or if the antenna system 400 allows to be divided into sectors. If the antenna system 400 does not support the desired network tuning action, the coverage and control entity 200 needs to determine another network tuning action.

Reference is now made to Fig. 6 illustrating methods for network tuning in a wireless network 100 as performed by the coverage and control entity 200 according to further embodiments.

There maybe different ways for the coverage and control entity 200 to determine when to acquire the antenna system first capability and status information. According to an embodiment the coverage and control entity 200 is configured to, in a step S104, request the antenna system first capability and status information from the beam form control entity 300 in response to having acquired the network information. In this respect the request module 2iod may comprise instructions that when executed by the coverage and control entity 200 causes the processing circuitry 210, possibly in interaction with the communications interface 220 and the storage medium 230, to request the antenna system first capability and status information in order for the coverage and control entity 200 to perform step S104.

The semantics used during communications between the coverage and control entity 200 and the beam form control entity 300 may be in the form of Get and Set procedures. Here a Get procedure implies a get requests, indicating the parameter types requested, and a get response, providing the requested parameter values. A Set procedure implies a set request, providing parameter values to be configured, and a set response, indicating the success of the requested configuration. Other semantic patterns may also be used, such as subscribe / notify.

Reference is now made to Fig. 7 illustrating a method for network tuning in a wireless network 100 as performed by the beam form control entity 300 according to an embodiment.

The beam form control entity 300 is configured to control at least one antenna system 400 in the wireless network 100 and is therefore regarded as a beam form control entity 300 of the at least one antenna system 400 in the wireless network 100. The beam form control entity 300 is configured to, in a step S208, provide antenna system first capability and status information of the at least one antenna system 400 to the coverage and control entity 200. As will be disclosed below, there may be different reasons for the beam form control entity 300 to provide the antenna system first capability and status information. In this respect the insert module 310a may comprise

instructions that when executed by the beam form control entity 300 causes the processing circuitry 310, possibly in interaction with the communications interface 320 and the storage medium 330, to provide the antenna system first capability and status information in order for the beam form control entity 300 to perform step S208.

The beam form control entity 300 is configured to, in a step S210, receive a network tuning action as a control request for the antenna system 400 from the coverage and control entity 200. Examples of control requests have been disclosed above. In this respect the insert module 310b may comprise instructions that when executed by the beam form control entity 300 causes the processing circuitry 310, possibly in interaction with the communications interface 320 and the storage medium 330, to receive the network tuning action in order for the beam form control entity 300 to perform step S210.

The beam form control entity 300 is configured to, in a step S212, translate the control request into control instructions readable by the at least one antenna system 400. Examples of how this translation maybe implemented will be provided below. Examples of control instructions will be provided below. In this respect the translate module 310c may comprise instructions that when executed by the beam form control entity 300 causes the processing circuitry 310, possibly in interaction with the communications interface 320 and the storage medium 330, to translate the control request into control instructions in order for the beam form control entity 300 to perform step S212.

The beam form control entity 300 is configured to, in a step S216, provide the control instructions to the at least one antenna system 400. In this respect the provide module 310a may comprise instructions that when executed by the beam form control entity 300 causes the processing circuitry 310, possibly in interaction with the communications interface 320 and the storage medium 330, to provide the control instructions to the at least one antenna system 400 in order for the beam form control entity 300 to perform step S216.

Embodiments relating to further details of network tuning in a wireless network 100 as performed by the beam form control entity 300 will now be disclosed. There maybe different examples of control instructions. Different

embodiments relating thereto will now be described in turn.

According to a first embodiment the control instructions relate to a change of a beam used for transmission of beam specific reference signals. Particularly, the control instructions may pertain to modifying a transmission beam used by the antenna system 400 for transmitting beam specific reference signals. Such control instructions maybe provided in step S216 if a control request pertaining to change of a beam used for transmission of beam specific reference signals is received in step S210.

According to a second embodiment the control instructions pertain to further changes of a beam used for transmission of beam specific reference signals. Particularly, the control instructions may instruct the at least one antenna system 400 to create a new transmission beam, to remove an existing transmission beam, to modify an existing transmission beam, to modify beam pointing direction of an existing transmission beam, to modify width of an existing transmission beam, or any combination thereof. Such control instructions maybe provided in step S216 if a control request pertaining to further changes of a beam used for transmission of beam specific reference signals is received in step S210.

According to a second embodiment the control instructions instruct the antenna system 400 to map transceivers to antenna ports, to map antenna ports to antenna sub-arrays in the antenna system 400, or any combination thereof.

There are different ways for the beam form control entity 300 to provide the control instructions. According to an embodiment the control instructions are provided to a radio resource management entity 500 via the antenna system 400, or to the antenna system 400 via the radio resource

management entity 500, see Fig. 12 and its description below.

Reference is now made to Fig. 8 illustrating methods for network tuning in a wireless network 100 as performed by the beam form control entity 300 according to further embodiments.

There may be different ways for the beam form control entity 300 to determine when to provide the antenna system first capability and status information. According to an embodiment the beam form control entity 300 is configured to, in a step S202, acquire a request for the antenna system first capability and status information from the coverage and control entity 200. The request may be provided by the coverage and control entity 200 as in step S104. The antenna system first capability and status information may then be provided, as in step S208, in response thereto.

Further, the beam form control entity 300 maybe configured to, in a step S204, acquire antenna system second capability and status information from the at least one antenna system 400 in response to having received the request for the antenna system first capability and status information from the coverage and control entity 200, as in step S202.

Examples of antenna system first capability and status information have been provided above.

There maybe different examples of antenna system second capability and status information as acquired in step S204. Different embodiments relating thereto will now be described in turn.

According to a first embodiment the antenna system second capability and status information comprises antenna system general information (and values thereof). Examples of antenna system general information include, but are not limited to, antenna identity and/or type, antenna polarization, e.g. x- polarized or co-polarized, antenna location, i.e. geographical position (x, y) and height over ground level (z), antenna sub-array size, i.e. columns and number pf rows, where the columns are the number of antenna elements in horizontal direction and the rows are the number of antenna elements in vertical direction, antenna array size, i.e. the sub-array columns times the sub-array rows, where the sub-array columns are the number of sub-arrays in horizontal direction and the sub-array rows are the number of sub-arrays in vertical direction, antenna port identities and associated polarization, transceiver identities, i.e. the available transmitters/receivers in the antenna system 400, and information of the surrounding environment, e.g. via a camera.

According to a second embodiment the antenna system second capability and status information comprises antenna capability parameters (and values thereof). Examples of antenna capability parameters include, but are not limited to, antenna mechanical adjustment capability (i.e. azimuth, tilt and rotation), antenna sub-array beamforming capability, i.e. whether sub-arrays beam form is configurable or not in horizontal and vertical direction respectively (passive beamforming), antenna port mapping capability, i.e. whether the mapping is configurable or fixed, i.e. is whether sub-arrays are configurable or not, and transceiver to port mapping capability, i.e. whether the mapping is configurable or fixed.

According to a third embodiment the antenna system second capability and status information comprises antenna configuration parameters (and values thereof). Examples of antenna configuration parameters include, but are not limited to, antenna mechanical mounting, including mechanical azimuth (horizontal direction), mechanical tilt (vertical direction) and mechanical rotation, antenna sub-array beam form configuration, e.g., in terms of complex weights per antenna element in a sub-array, electrical beam pointing directions (i.e. electrical azimuth (horizontal direction) and electrical tilt (vertical direction) given by the antenna sub-array beam form configuration or affecting the antenna sub-array beam form configuration), electrical beam widths (i.e. horizontal beam width and vertical beam width given by the antenna sub-array beam form configuration or affecting the antenna sub- array beam form configuration), antenna port mapping (i.e. the association between antenna ports and antenna sub-arrays, providing information on the layout and relative location of sub-arrays within the array), and transceiver to port mapping (i.e. the association between transceivers and antenna ports). The antenna system second capability and status information may comprise at least one of the above items and be provided per cell in the wireless network 100, whereof some items maybe read-only and hence not

configurable.

In general terms, the antenna system second capability and status

information may be provided over interface B and/ or interface C, see Figs. 11 and 12 below.

The beam form control entity 300 may be then be configured to, in a step S206, translate the antenna system second capability and status information into the antenna system first capability and status information prior to providing the antenna system first capability and status information to the coverage and control entity 200, as in step S208.

There maybe different ways for the beam form control entity 300 to translate the antenna system second capability and status information into the antenna system first capability and status information. For example, the beam form control entity 300 may have access to a mapping between the antenna system second capability and status information on the one hand and the antenna system first capability and status information on the other hand. For example, a table maybe provided that by the beam form control entity 300 can be used to provide a mapping between the beam form control entity 300 may have access to a mapping between the antenna system second capability and status information on the one hand and the antenna system first capability and status information on the other hand. Such a table maybe stored in the computer readable medium 330 or be provided to the beam form control entity 300 upon request. The beam form control entity 300 may then perform the translation by performing a table look-up with the acquired antenna system second capability and status information as input.

There are different ways for the beam form control entity 300 to provide the control instructions. According to an embodiment the control instructions are provided to a radio resource management entity 500, see Fig. 12 and its description below. According to a further embodiment, the control instructions are provided to at least one of a radio entity 410 of the antenna system 400 and an antenna entity 420 of the antenna system 400.

There may be different ways for the beam form control entity 300 to determine which entity to provide the control instructions to. According to an embodiment the beam form control entity 300 is configured to, in a step S214, determine, depending on the control instructions and the antenna system second capability and status information, whether to provide the control instructions to the radio entity 410 or the antenna entity 420. For example, control instructions relating to active beamforming may be provided to the radio entity 410 (and to the RRM entity 500), and control instructions relating to passive beamforming or mechanical adjustment may be provided to the antenna entity 420.

There maybe different ways for the beam form control entity 300 to translate the control request into control instructions readable by the at least one antenna system 400. For example, the beam form control entity 300 may have access to a mapping between control requests and control instructions. For example, a table may be provided that provides a mapping between control requests and control instructions. Such a table may be stored in the computer readable medium 330 or be provided to the beam form control entity 300 upon request. The beam form control entity 300 may then perform the translation by performing a table look-up with the received control request as input.

Fig. 10 schematically illustrates an embodiment of the coverage and control entity 200 and beam form control entities 300, where one beam form control entity 300 is provided in each antenna system 400. In Fig. 10(a) there are separate interfaces Αι, A2, A3 between the coverage and control entity 200 and beam form control entities 300. In Fig. 10(b) there is a single interface A between the coverage and control entity 200 and beam form control entities 300 which simplifies the implementation of the coverage and control entity 200.

Fig. 11 schematically illustrates an embodiment of the coverage and control entity 200 and the beam form control entity 300, where the beam form control entity 300 is provided in an antenna system 400. Signalling between the coverage and control entity 200 and the beam form control entity 300 is provided over an interface A, allowing the coverage and control entity 200 to receive information from the antenna system 400, such as in steps S106, S208, and to control the beam specific beamforming in the antenna system 400 by providing a load balancing action to the beam form control entity 300, such as in steps S110, S210. Fig. 12 schematically illustrates a further embodiment of the coverage and control entity 200 and the beam form control entity 300, where the beam form control entity 300 is provided in an antenna system 400. The antenna system 400 further comprises a radio entity 410 and an antenna entity 420. In this embodiment the beam form control entity 300 is configured to interact with the coverage and control entity 200 over interface A, with the radio entity 410 over interface C, with the antenna entity 420 over interface B, and with the RRM entity 500 over interface E. Further, the radio entity 410 is configured to interact with the antenna entity 420 over interface D. In the same way as for interface A, the semantics for interfaces B and C (as well as for D and E) may be in the form of Get and Set procedures. Other semantic patterns may also be used, such as subscribe / notify. In one embodiment the radio entity 410 and the antenna entity 420 are integrated in a common entity. In another embodiment the whole, or part of the beam form control entity 300, is integrated in the radio entity 410, or in a common radio and antenna entity.

The beam form control entity 300 may for example configure parameters in the radio entity 410 and the antenna entity 420. Examples of such

parameters include, but are not limited to, creating, removing or modifying one or more beams using passive beamforming over interface B, or active beamforming over interface C and interface E, beam pointing direction using passive beamforming or mechanical adjustment over interface B, or active beamforming over interface C and interface E, beam width using passive beamforming over interface B, or active beamforming over interface C and interface E, mapping transceivers to antenna ports, and mapping antenna ports to antenna sub-arrays over interface C.

In more detail, based on information received from the radio entity 410 and the antenna entity 420, together with other information, such as traffic spatial distribution and multiple-input multiple-output MIMO system configurations of the antenna system 400, the beam form control entity 300 may determine what information to provide to the coverage and control entity 200. The beam form control entity 300 may translate the detailed information received to more abstract information over interface A to the coverage and control entity 200, as in step S206.

The beam form control entity 300 interprets the control requests received from the coverage and control entity 200 on interface A (in step S210) and determines how to utilize the antenna system 400 capabilities based on information that has been provided over interfaces B and C. Based on the request from the coverage and control entity 200 the beam form control entity 300 then translates the control request (as in step S212), depending on antenna array capabilities and signals this over interfaces B, C, and E. Specific examples of control instructions readable by the at least one antenna system 400 will now be disclosed.

For example, if the sub-array size is one column by one row and the number of transceivers equals the number of antenna ports, the beam form control entity 300 may determine to use active beamforming for beam specific beamforming.

For example, if the sub-array size is one column by one row and the number of transceivers is less than the number of antenna ports, the beam form control entity 300 may determine to map transceivers to multiple ports to create virtual sub-arrays, while using passive beamforming on the virtual sub-arrays for beam specific beamforming.

For example, if the sub-array size is one column by one row and the number of transceivers are greater than the number of antenna ports, the beam form control entity 300 may determine either to use selected ports for active, cell specific beamforming, while reporting a misconfiguration, or to map multiple transceivers to the same ports and divide their respective signals in the frequency domain while applying active, beam specific beamforming.

For example, if the sub-array size is larger than one column by one row and the number of transceivers equals the number of antenna ports, the beam form control entity 300 may determine to use passive, beam specific beamforming.

For example, if the sub-array size is larger than one column by one row and the number of transceivers is less than the number of antenna ports, the beam form control entity 300 may determine to map transceivers to multiple ports to create virtual sub-arrays, while using passive beamforming on the virtual sub-arrays for cell specific beamforming

For example, if the sub-array size is larger than one column by one row and the number of transceivers are greater than the number of antenna ports, the beam form control entity 300 may determine either to use selected ports for passive, beam specific beamforming, while reporting a misconfiguration, or to map multiple transceivers to the same ports and divide their respective signals in the frequency domain while applying passive, beam specific beamforming. For example, if the antenna has mechanical adjustment capability the beam form control entity 300 may determine to use it for beam shaping, for example resulting in cell shaping.

Apart from the mechanical adjustment capability, the size of the sub-arrays, or the virtual sub-arrays, determines the beam specific beamforming capability. In general terms, beam specific beamforming is possible in the vertical direction if the number of rows is greater than one and in the horizontal direction if the number of columns is greater than one. Mechanical rotation may need to be accounted for when interpreting the information.

Information of surrounding neighborhood of the antenna, provided by e.g. a camera and/ or other devices, may be interpreted to state e.g. whether the antenna location is above, below, or in line with the surrounding topography.

The beam form control entity 300 may thereby receive control requests (in terms of network tuning actions) on interface A from the coverage and control entity 200 and translate them to adequate commands (in terms of the control instructions readable by the at least one antenna system 400) to the radio entity 410 and the antenna entity 420 on interfaces B and C, and/or the RRM entity 500 on interfaces B, C and E. The control mechanisms to use towards the radio entity 410 and the antenna entity 420 depend on their capabilities, which is part of the information provided (in terms of the antenna system second capability and status information). The beam form control entity 300 may thereby not only translate and transfers control requests, in terms of network tuning actions, from the coverage and control entity 200 towards entities, such as the radio entity 410 and the antenna entity 420, in the antenna system 400 (as in step S216) but also translate and transfer information from the radio entity 410 and the antenna entity 420 towards the coverage and control entity 200 (as in steps S204, S206, S208).

In order to map transceivers to antenna ports a switching mechanism between the radio entity 410 and antenna entity 420 maybe needed over interface D.

The antenna entity 420 may provide information to the radio entity 410 over interface D such as antenna sub-array beam form configuration (for example in terms of complex weights per antenna element in a sub-array), antenna port mapping (for example in terms of setting the association between antenna ports and antenna sub-arrays, providing information on the layout and relative location of sub-arrays within the array).

The radio entity 410 may be configured to configure parameters in the antenna entity 420 over interface D such as antenna sub-array beam form configuration and mapping antenna ports to antenna sub-arrays, requiring a switching mechanism within the antenna entity 420.

The beam form control entity 300 may further be configured to interact with a radio resource management (RRM) entity 500 over interface E. In one embodiment the beam form control entity 300 interacts with the RRM entity 500 in the control plane to effectuate beamforming decision taken. The RRM entity 500 may e.g. ensure the active beamforming action being done by pre- coding of signals in the user plane. In another embodiment the RRM entity 500 is at least partly integrated with the beam form control entity 300.

The interaction between the RRM entity 500 and the beam form control entity 300 may enable allocation and management of resources in accordance to the specific beamforming configuration chosen. Hence, information from the beam form control entity 300to the RRM entity 500 may enable channel configurations mirroring whether the UE will be subject to gains or losses as a consequence of beamforming. For example, if the RRM entity 500 process is able to configure data channels with a given modulation and coding scheme in scenarios where no beamforming is used, the same RRM process enhanced with interaction and information exchange with the beam form control entity 30omay be able to configure more aggressive modulation and coding schemes to the same wireless device 110a, 110b because such wireless device 110a, 110b would perceive a signal gain due to specific beamforming actions.

The inventive concept has mainly been described above with reference to a few embodiments. However, as is readily appreciated by a person skilled in the art, other embodiments than the ones disclosed above are equally possible within the scope of the inventive concept, as defined by the appended patent claims. For example, although terminology from 3GPP LTE has been used in this disclosure to exemplify the inventive concept, this is not to be interpreted as limiting the scope of the inventive concept to only the aforementioned system. Other wireless systems, including but not limited to WCDMA/HSPA, Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMax), Ultra Mobile Broadband (UMB) and the Global System for Mobile

Communications (GSM), may also benefit from exploiting the inventive concept covered within this disclosure.

Claims

CLAIMS l. A method for network tuning in a wireless network (100), the method being performed by a coverage and control entity (200), the method comprising:
acquiring (S102) network information indicating a need for network tuning in the wireless network (100);
acquiring (S106) antenna system first capability and status information of at least one antenna system (400) in the wireless network (100) from a beam form control entity (300) of the at least one antenna system (400); determining (S108) a network tuning action based on the network information and the antenna system first capability and status information; and
providing (S110) the network tuning action as a control request for the antenna system (400) to the beam form control entity (300).
2. The method according to claim 1, further comprising:
requesting (S104) the antenna system first capability and status information from the beam form control entity (300) in response to having acquired the network information.
3. The method according to claim 1, wherein the network information relate to at least one of network performance and spatial distribution of network traffic in the wireless network (100).
4. The method according to claim 1, wherein the need for network tuning relates to at least one of load level in a cell (150) of the wireless network (100) and number of cell edge users (110a) in the wireless network (100).
5. The method according to claim 1, wherein the control request pertains to modifying a transmission beam used by the antenna system (400) for transmitting beam specific reference signals.
6. The method according to claim 5, wherein the control request requests the at least one antenna system (400) to create a new transmission beam, remove an existing transmission beam, modify an existing transmission beam, modify beam pointing direction of an existing transmission beam, and/ or modify width of an existing transmission beam.
7. The method according to claim 1, wherein the control request pertains to decreasing a first beam coverage area, increasing a second beam coverage area, dividing a third beam coverage area into at least two beam coverage areas or sectors, merging at least two beam coverage areas into a fourth beam coverage area, relocating a fifth beam coverage area in the wireless network (100), or any combination thereof.
8. A method for network tuning in a wireless network (100), the method being performed by a beam form control entity (300) of at least one antenna system (400) in the wireless network (100), the method comprising:
providing (S208) antenna system first capability and status information of the at least one antenna system (400) to a coverage and control entity (200);
receiving (S210) a network tuning action as a control request for the antenna system (400) from the coverage and control entity (200);
translating (S212) the control request into control instructions readable by the at least one antenna system (400); and
providing (S216) the control instructions to the at least one antenna system (400).
9. The method according to claim 8, further comprising:
acquiring (S202) a request for the antenna system first capability and status information from the coverage and control entity (200), and wherein the antenna system first capability and status information is provided in response thereto.
10. The method according to claim 8, further comprising:
acquiring (S204) antenna system second capability and status information from the at least one antenna system (400) in response to having received a request for the antenna system first capability and status information from the coverage and control entity (200); and translating (S206) the antenna system second capability and status information into the antenna system first capability and status information prior to providing the antenna system first capability and status information to the coverage and control entity (200).
11. The method according to claim 8, wherein the control instructions are provided to at least one of a radio entity (410) of the antenna system (400) and an antenna entity (420) of the antenna system (400).
12. The method according to claim 11, further comprising:
determining (S214), depending on the control instructions and the antenna system second capability and status information , whether to provide the control instructions to the radio entity (410) or the antenna entity (420).
13. The method according to claim 11 or 12, wherein control instructions relating to active beamforming are provided to the radio entity (410) and a radio resource management entity (500), and wherein control instructions relating to passive beamforming or mechanical adjustment are provided to the antenna entity (420).
14. The method according to claim 8, wherein the control instructions pertain to modifying a transmission beam used by the antenna system (400) for transmitting beam specific reference signals.
15. The method according to claim 14, wherein the control instructions instruct the at least one antenna system (400) to create a new transmission beam, remove an existing transmission beam, modify an existing
transmission beam, modify beam pointing direction of an existing
transmission beam, and/ or modify width of an existing transmission beam.
16. The method according to claim 8, wherein the control instructions instruct the antenna system (400) to map transceivers to antenna ports and/or to map antenna ports to antenna sub-arrays in the antenna system (400).
17. The method according to claim 8, wherein the control instructions are provided to a radio resource management entity (500).
18. A coverage and control entity (200) for network tuning in a wireless network (100), the coverage and control entity (200) comprising processing circuitry (210), the processing circuitry being configured to cause the coverage and control entity (200) to:
acquire network information indicating a need for network tuning in the wireless network (100);
acquire antenna system first capability and status information of at least one antenna system (400) in the wireless network (100) from a beam form control entity (300) of the at least one antenna system (400);
determine a network tuning action based on the network information and the antenna system first capability and status information; and
provide the network tuning action as a control request for the antenna system (400) to the beam form control entity (300).
19. The coverage and control entity (200) according to claim 18, further comprising a storage medium (220) storing a set of operations, and wherein the processing circuitry is configured to retrieve said set of operations from the storage medium to cause the coverage and control entity (200) to perform said set of operations.
20. A coverage and control entity (200) for network tuning in a wireless network (100), the coverage and control entity (200) comprising:
processing circuitry (210); and
a storage medium (230) storing instructions that, when executed by the processing circuitry (210), causes the coverage and control entity (200) to:
acquire network information indicating a need for network tuning in the wireless network (100);
acquire antenna system first capability and status information of at least one antenna system (400) in the wireless network (100) from a beam form control entity (300) of the at least one antenna system (400);
determine a network tuning action based on the network information and the antenna system first capability and status information; and
provide the network tuning action as a control request for the antenna system (400) to the beam form control entity (300).
21. A coverage and control entity (200) for network tuning in a wireless network (100), the coverage and control entity (200) comprising:
an acquire module (210a) configured to acquire network information indicating a need for network tuning in the wireless network (100);
the acquire module (210a) further being configured to acquire antenna system first capability and status information of at least one antenna system (400) in the wireless network (100) from a beam form control entity (300) of the at least one antenna system (400);
a determine module (210b) configured to determine a network tuning action based on the network information and the antenna system first capability and status information; and
a provide module (210c) configured to provide the network tuning action as a control request for the antenna system (400) to the beam form control entity (300).
22. A beam form control entity (300) for network tuning in a wireless network (100), the beam form control entity (300) comprising processing circuitry (310), the processing circuitry being configured to cause the beam form control entity (300) to:
provide antenna system first capability and status information of at least one antenna system (400) to a coverage and control entity (200);
receive a network tuning action as a control request for the antenna system (400) from the coverage and control entity (200);
translate the control request into control instructions readable by the at least one antenna system (400); and
provide the control instructions to the at least one antenna system
23. The beam form control entity (300) according to claim 22, further comprising a storage medium (320) storing a set of operations, and wherein the processing circuitry is configured to retrieve said set of operations from the storage medium to cause the beam form control entity (300) to perform said set of operations.
24. A beam form control entity (300) for network tuning in a wireless network (100), the beam form control entity (300) comprising:
processing circuitry (310); and
a storage medium (330) storing instructions that, when executed by the processing circuitry (310), causes the beam form control entity (300) to:
provide antenna system first capability and status information of at least one antenna system (400) to a coverage and control entity (200);
receive a network tuning action as a control request for the antenna system (400) from the coverage and control entity (200);
translate the control request into control instructions readable by the at least one antenna system (400); and
provide the control instructions to the at least one antenna system
(400).
25. A beam form control entity (300) for network tuning in a wireless network (100), the beam form control entity (300) comprising:
a provide module (310a) configured to provide antenna system first capability and status information of at least one antenna system (400) to a coverage and control entity (200);
a receive module (310b) configured to receive a network tuning action as a control request for the antenna system (400) from the coverage and control entity (200);
a translate module (310c) configured to translate the control request into control instructions readable by the at least one antenna system (400); and
the provide module (310a) further being configured to provide the control instructions to the at least one antenna system (400).
26. A computer program (420a) for network tuning in a wireless network (100), the computer program comprising computer code which, when run on processing circuitry (210) of a coverage and control entity (200), causes the coverage and control entity (200) to:
acquire (S102) network information indicating a need for network tuning in the wireless network (100);
acquire (S106) antenna system first capability and status information of at least one antenna system (400) in the wireless network (100) from a beam form control entity (300) of the at least one antenna system (400);
determine (S108) a network tuning action based on the network information and the antenna system first capability and status information; and
provide (S110) the network tuning action as a control request for the antenna system (400) to the beam form control entity (300).
27. A computer program (420b) for network tuning in a wireless network (100), the computer program comprising computer code which, when run on processing circuitry (310) of a beam form control entity (300), causes the beam form control entity (300) to:
provide (S208) antenna system first capability and status information of at least one antenna system (400) to a coverage and control entity (200); receive (S210) a network tuning action as a control request for the antenna system (400) from the coverage and control entity (200);
translate (S212) the control request into control instructions readable by the at least one antenna system (400); and
provide (S216) the control instructions to the at least one antenna system (400).
28. A computer program product (410a, 410b) comprising a computer program (420a, 420b) according to at least one of claims 26 and 27, and a computer readable medium (430) on which the computer program is stored.
PCT/SE2015/050966 2015-09-15 2015-09-15 Network tuning in wireless networks WO2017048161A1 (en)

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Citations (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO2012152306A1 (en) * 2011-05-06 2012-11-15 Nokia Siemens Networks Oy Arrangements for controlling antennas
WO2015036012A1 (en) * 2013-09-10 2015-03-19 Huawei Technologies Co.,Ltd. Method and node in a wireless communication system

Patent Citations (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO2012152306A1 (en) * 2011-05-06 2012-11-15 Nokia Siemens Networks Oy Arrangements for controlling antennas
WO2015036012A1 (en) * 2013-09-10 2015-03-19 Huawei Technologies Co.,Ltd. Method and node in a wireless communication system

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